Motivation Breakthrough

I’ve known my MC’s motivation for ages, but it’s a bit abstract. I’ve had a lot of trouble putting it into words. He wants to please his commander, for his commander to proud of him. But why? I know why, but again, it’s so abstract.
I had a breakthrough today. I jumped ahead a little and was imagining a scene where a friend/mentor talks with the MC and really hashed it out with him. Why is it so important?
And my MC told him. I could hardly believe it. OH! That makes so much sense! And it’s in words!
It went something like this:
“Why is it so important for the commander to be pleased with you? You have these other people who love you.”
“When the other people look at me, they see my dad or who they want me to be. The commander is the only one who sees ME when he looks at me. So if I can’t get it right for him, that means I don’t work. I’ve failed. There’s something wrong with me.”

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